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Still Life Museum

Since 2007, in the sixteen rooms on the second floor of the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano, the Museum of Still Life has been set up, dedicated to still life and naturalistic paintings from the collections of the Florentine galleries and belonging to the Medici family. Over two hundred works are ordered in a museum itinerary that follows the development of the Medici collecting of this pictorial genre, dedicated to the representation of themes and subjects of nature. Flowers predominate, in all the varieties and arranged in the most imaginative ways (in vases, individually or in wreaths, in small bunches), the fruits, the animals (also seen with a purely scientific illustrative attention), but also precious objects or of common use, combined with the other elements of nature to form intense and refined compositions, in some cases charged with symbolic meaning.
The collection of paintings exhibited in the museum covers a chronology from the late sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century and illustrates in its main lines the development of this genre especially in its golden age, the seventeenth century. There are masterpieces of Italian and foreign artists, who have come to Florence thanks to the careful and updated patronage of the Medici family. The absolute spearhead in the museum is the Florentine Bartolomeo Bimbi, of who fifty-nine works are exhibited, including his famous samples of the fruits produced in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. These are twelve exceptional paintings, executed for the Topaia Medici Villa, which depict, with the maximum detail and scientific precision, the innumerable qualities of citrus fruits, grapes, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots, apples, figs and plums that, between the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth century, were produced in the countryside and gardens of the Medicean Tuscany (and which are now almost completely disappeared). By Bimbi there are also some works in the museum that "photograph" exotic, "monstrous" or exceptional animals, seen through the eyes of a scientist-artist. Also on display are important paintings by Willem Van Aelst, Felice Boselli, Jan Brueghel, Margherita Caffi, Giovanni Agostino Cassana, Filippo Napoletano, Giovanna Garzoni, Jan Davidsz De Heem, Monsù Aurora, Bartolomeo Ligozzi, Otto Marseus, Antoine Monnoyer, Cristoforo Munari , Pietro Navarra, Mario de 'Fiori, Giuseppe Recco, Andrea Scacciati, Giovanni Stanchi, Franz Werner Tamm, and others.